(Warning, the following contains moderate plot SPOILERS for the upcoming Invincible Iron Man #4. Proceed with whatever level of caution that suggests is wise...)
Now, Tony Stark may well have spent a large chunk of Avengers: Age of Ultron trying to solve a deepening evil robot crisis that he himself caused, but as fans of the comic books know all too well, he's not actually a bad dude (except for that whole time he was a bad guy, of course). After all, the comic book Stark isn't just a superhero – he's a super nice person.
Or, rather, in this particular case, the folks who write and draw him sure as heck are.
Marvel Just Added a Real-Life 5-Year-Old to the Cast of Iron Man's Main Comic Book
Yup, that's right. An actual, factual, real-life kid, named Max Levy. Max has spent most of his life in the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, after being diagnosed with Hemophilia A (a genetic disorder that causes blood to fail to clot) as a baby.
Max, though, didn't exactly see that as a limiting factor in his life choices, and – together with his older sister Zoe – created the Hearts 4 Hemophilia calendar, a project that has so far raised over $7,000 dollars for the hospital in which Max spends much of his time.
You might be wondering what that has to do with Iron Man, though (aside from he, Max and Zoe sharing a philanthropic leaning). Well...
Last Year, Max Had a Metal Disk Put Into His Chest as Part of His Treatment
Just like Iron Man.
And so, his family started calling the avid Marvel fan Iron Max.
And then, his dad, Dan, started to tweet about him.
Which, since the Internet is sometimes a wonderful thing, some folks over at Marvel heard about.
And so, this happened:
Brian Michael Bendis Decided to Put Max in an Iron Man Comic Book
Yup, that's right, that's Brian Michael Bendis – the critically acclaimed and widely beloved writer of Ultimate Spider-Man, Daredevil, Alias, Guardians of the Galaxy, more X-Men and Avengers comic books than you could shake an Asgardian hammer at, and, most recently, Invincible Iron Man.
Promising to put Iron Max in an actual Marvel comic book.
Which he totally just did.
That's right – Invincible Iron Man #4, released this week, not only features a pretty much photo-realistic Max Levy...
...but also, thanks to Bendis and artist Dave Marquez, an honest to goodness Iron Max suit.
Max even gets his own introduction, explaining just what that kid with his own Iron Man armor is doing in the comic book:
And, of course, let him fight Doctor Doom, immortalizing him in Marvel comic book history forever, yadda yadda yadda.
Iron Max Is Now Officially a Part of the Marvel Comic Book Universe
As in a full-on, genuine, absolutely canonical part of the actual Marvel comic book universe. Just like Hulk, and Wolverine, and Captain Marvel.
Now, regular readers may recall that I have a tendency to praise Brian Michael Bendis pretty highly – in large part due to his recent runs on All New and Uncanny X-Men being so darned fantastic, along with a decade or so of awesome Spider, Devil and Avenging-themed work before that – but even putting all of that aside: HOW COOL IS IT THAT HE JUST PUT A KID IN AN IRON MAN COMIC BOOK?
I mean, that's the dream, right?
Nicely played, Mr. Bendis (and everyone else at Marvel who I'm sure played an equally huge part in making all of this happen). Nicely played...
The biggest props, though, must surely go to Max and Zoe, for not only clearly being badass kids – but using that awesomeness to raise money for as good a cause as the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. If you want to help out too, you can find their donation page right here.
Kudos, kids. Kudos.